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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Letter From Publisher: Celebrate Earth Day!

Mar 31, 2011 04:00AM ● By Nancy Caniff

Nancy Caniff, Publisher

In honor of Earth Day 2011, fully aware that producing thousands of magazines each month creates its own carbon footprint, I’d like to share with you some of the unusual ways that Natural Awakenings readers and publishers have devised to extend the use of copies once they have read them. Of course, many of you have told us how you file every issue, so that you can periodically refer back to them. For those who prefer to go beyond recycling to imaginative reuses, following are some ideas to consider.

One person told us she shreds old issues to use as bedding for the family’s baby chicks because there are no chemicals in the soy based ink, and it is safe for the sensitive newborns. It also works well for shredding into a litter box for new kittens or post surgical kitties. Another reported using the colorful pages of the magazine to wrap gifts and one created an amazing bow looping thinly sliced strips. I found that carefully folded pages make incredible starter pots for my new garden plantings. Last fall I even used a few pages to secure apples for winter storage. It became evident that my skills are more fine tuned for folding origami than apple storing, but overall I was pleased with the number of uses I could contrive from the magazines. 

Old issues also make great packing material; just put them in a shredder to avoid using the foam packing peanuts that harm the environment. Of course, newsprint is great for mulching flower beds and vegetable gardens. It’s also good starter material for composting piles. I plan to use some old issues to get my new worm bin started. On page 20, Jessica Iclisoy describes the benefits of setting up a worm composting system, a fun family activity that is sure to delight the children.

If creative reuse tickles your imagination with possibilities, let us know about it. Who knows, you may even see your suggestion in a future issue. Pictures are welcome.

This month our feature article takes a look at what a truly sustainable lifestyle might look like in “Ed Begley, Jr.’s Green Home Makeover.” This actor turned activist is renowned as the epitome of conscious living, having turned a modest 1936 home into a nearly energy self-sufficient and waste-free residence. Read how this focus on a sustainable lifestyle works as a family affair (page 16).

To celebrate Earth Day, come out to the Earth Day Indiana festival at White River State Park on April 23. We’ll be there. If you are able, sign up to be a volunteer. Check this month’s news briefs (page 8) for details and peruse the calendar section for other earth friendly events happening around town.

While we celebrate and bask in our beautiful Spring weather, our thoughts turn to the people of Japan who need so much compassionate support right now. If you wish to help, we suggest making a donation to an organization that is already on the ground there; page 9 lists ways to donate to the Red Cross. Another way to help is through Socks for Japan (page 27). Our thoughts and prayers go out to these tireless providers as well.

Earth Day arrives as a timely annual reminder for all of us to be kinder to our planet. We hope you’ll find the tips and advice offered on the pages within helpful in your quest.

Let’s make every day Earth Day.

                                        Nancy Caniff, Publisher

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